Russell Brand faces police probe over sexual assault allegations

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The British comedian and actor Russell Brand is under investigation by the London Metropolitan Police after four women accused him of rape and sexual assault in a joint media report. Brand has denied the allegations and claimed they are part of a government plot to silence him.

Allegations span from 2006 to 2013

The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches published an investigation on Saturday, in which four women alleged that Brand sexually assaulted them in separate incidents between 2006 and 2013. One of the women said she was 16 and Brand was 31 at the time of the alleged assault in London.

The women chose not to be identified by name in the report, according to The Times. CNN has not been able to independently verify their claims.

Russell Brand faces police probe

The report also revealed that Brand had been accused of sexual misconduct by several other women in the past, but none of them had reported him to the police or pursued legal action.

Police launch investigation into ‘non-recent’ offenses

Without naming Brand, the Metropolitan Police said on Monday that they had received a report of a sexual assault that was alleged to have taken place in Soho in central London in 2003. They also said they had received a number of allegations of sexual offenses committed elsewhere in the country and that they would investigate them.

The offenses are all “non-recent”, meaning they occurred more than six months ago, according to the police statement.

Detectives from the Met’s Central Specialist Crime Command, led by Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy, will carry out the investigation, the statement added.

“We continue to encourage anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a sexual offense, no matter how long ago it was, to contact us,” the statement said. “We understand it can feel like a difficult step to take and I want to reassure that we have a team of specialist officers available to advise and support.”

Brand denies the allegations and accuses the government of censorship

Brand preemptively denied the allegations in a video posted to his verified Instagram page on Friday, before the report was published. In the video, Brand described the claims as “very serious allegations that I absolutely refute”.

He also accused the UK government of trying to censor him for his political views and his criticism of the Covid-19 response. Brand has been known for promoting conspiracy theories and Covid denialism on his YouTube channel, which has been demonetized by the platform since the allegations broke.

Brand performed at London’s Troubabour Wembley Park on Saturday, despite the controversy. His upcoming show at the Theatre Royal Windsor for his “Bipolarisation” tour has been postponed, following the publication of the joint investigation.

Media companies launch internal investigations

The claims against Brand, who was a prominent figure on multiple UK television channels during the period in which the alleged assaults occurred, have spurred media companies that formerly employed Brand to launch internal investigations.

A BBC spokesperson said on Sunday: “The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years. Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised.”

Other media outlets, such as ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, have also said they are reviewing their relationship with Brand and his past work.

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